As we see in the picture on the home page, a very jubilant Cian O'Connor following another great show in London. It has become somewhat of a favourite arena of Cian's as he always seems to win there.
Following Umberto's win in the Welcome Stakes he then went on to finish 2nd and 10th in two more classes. However the highlight of the week for Cian came on Saturday night when he and Splendor came out on top in a thrilling jump off.
Cian said afterwards: "This is one of the fastest jump off classes I've ever won. Olympia is a very special show and its wonderful atmosphere is created by the knowledgable public who pack the stands and quite simply love their jumping."
Listen to Cian's Olympia interview by clicking HERE.
Cian today won the opening class of the five-star show in London Olympia, the Two-Phase, with 'Umberto', the gelding's second win in five days, having also given Cian success in the Geneva Derby last week. Cian said: "It's great to get your nose in front on the first day of Olympia. It gives you confidence for the competitions ahead."
Cian rounded off a terrific weekend at the 5 star World Cup show in Geneva with an 11th place on Splendor in the 1m60 Rolex World Cup competition, which was won by European Champion Kevin Staut.
Cian's big win of the week, though, was his victory with Declan McEvoy's gelding Umberto in the Geneva
Grande Chasse (Derby) on Saturday against a top international field. (Cian pictured right receiving his award).
Cian was also joint third in the Puissance on Sunday with Asturias, and was on the winning European international team with Larkhill Cruiser in the Credit Suisse competition, also on Saturday.
Horse Sport Ireland announced today (Friday) that Paraic Geraghty has accepted the position of Team Manager and Chef d'Equipe to the Turkish Show Jumping Squad. Geraghty has acted as advisor to Team Ireland Equestrian Show Jumping Manager Robert Splaine since the programme came under the remit of Horse Sport Ireland three years ago.
Geraghty, who comes from Ballinasloe in Co. Galway, was nominated to HSI's High Performance management committee by Showjumping Ireland. He acted as chef d'equipe on Robert Splaine's behalf to a number of developmental teams, and in that capacity was there this year when they secured a Nations' Cup victory at Ypaja in Finland and a second place at Spruce Meadows in Canada.
Show Jumping Manager Robert Splaine said today (Thursday): "I will be very sorry to lose Paraic, as he was a source of accurate advice and straightforward, unbiased opinion over the years, as well as being a person with great experience in the sport. I wish him well in his endeavours with Turkey's elite show jumping squad. I believe his job will be to help them secure qualification for the 2012 Olympics."
Paraic Geraghty said: "I will be very sorry to leave the Irish show jumping squad, but this is one of those offers that come up once in a lifetime, and I thought it was a challenge I could not turn down. I will miss working with the Irish riders, who are top class and have produced some great victories, and I will miss working with Robert Splaine, who I believe has done a tremendous job with the Irish team and deserves great credit."
Cian commented afterwards: "Paraic has been involved in show jumping committees since I came on the scene 14 years ago. He’s always been a very straight talking, honest and fair horseman. Him and I have had more arguments and discussions about the sport in general over the last number of years, but all only in the best interest of the sport. I'll certainly be very sad to see him go, and I’m sure the other riders will who have worked with him. I wish him all the best in his new post."
READ IRISH INDEPENDENT ARTICLE ON LARKHILL CRUISER HERE
This week Cian added a very interesting string to his bow in securing a deal for the very successful Larkhill Cruiser (pictured right with John Floody - photo by Laurence Dunne). Larkhill Cruiser is a 9 year-old chestnut gelding by Cruising out of a Crosstown Dancer mare. Larkhill Cruiser has won 14 Grands Prix this season alone, mostly on the national circuit, and including the Premier Series at Balmoral and the international Grand Prix at Tattersalls. In September he became the only horse ever to win both the Derby and the Grand Prix at Cavan. All the wins were under the command of John Floody.
Cian said after the arrival of the gelding at his yard today: "I'm delighted to have purchased Larkhill Cruiser from Michael Smith and I'm looking forward to bringing him to the next level. If he tries half as much for me as he did for John then I'll be very happy!"
Cian had a good weekend at Stockholm Show with a 5th place on Splendor in the Grand Prix on Sunday, making it clear to the jump off but incurring four faults. Splendor was double clear in the big class on the opening day, placing 4th, while Umberto took a 3rd and a 6th.
Splendor and Cian had a double clear in the national Grand Prix at Kill today, finishing 3rd. Cian said: "This was a great performance from Splendor, and is the perfect warm-up for Stockholm next weekend."
Splendor gave Cian a clear round in the Italian Grand Prix at Verona, and had just one fence down in the World Cup class. Arabella jumped clear in every class she entered in the 1m50 section of the schedule, and finished 8th in the Accumulator. Cian said: "I was really pleased with the performance of both horses at what was a very competitive 5 star show."
Arabella gave Cian a 6th place at the 4 star show in Caen with a double clear in the 1m45 Two Phase class. Cian said: The mare jumped just super. It was her first time at a show like this, and I'm really pleased with her."
Splendor gave Cian a double clear and a third place in the 1m50 Grand Prix Qualifier at the four-star show in Caen today. There were just seven double clear rounds achieved from the startlist of 47 riders and horses.